The Latest: Suspected jihadists hit resort in Mali's capital

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The Latest on the attack on a resort hotel near Bamako, Mali (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Mali authorities say suspected jihadists launched an attack Sunday on a hotel resort in Mali's capital, taking hostages at a spot popular with foreigners on the weekends. The number of casualties was unclear in the assault, which continued through the afternoon.

Gunfire rang out at the Campement Kangaba on the outskirts of Bamako, according to a security official with the U.N. mission known as MINUSMA. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

Malian soldiers succeeded in entering the site, according to Commandant Modibo Traore, a spokesman for the Malian special forces in the former French colony.

Religious extremism in Mali once was limited to northern areas, although in recent years the jihadists have spread violence farther south, including a devastating attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in November 2015. That attack left 20 dead — six Malians and 14 foreigners.

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Baba Ahmed in Bamako, Mali. Associated Press writer Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.